South Charlotte

It wasn't easy, but she was perfect

Anna Stachura has a perfect record.

The 18-year-old Ardrey Kell High School senior hasn't missed a single day of school in 13 years.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, that's 2,340 days of school with no absences.

"My parents' rule was if you didn't have a fever, if you weren't puking, then you went to school," said Stachura.

She got a trophy when she graduated from Endhaven Elementary and a certificate when she graduated from South Charlotte Middle School.

But those morale boosters weren't enough to keep most kids in school every single day of the year, even if they never got sick.

Stachura wasn't the only student to get perfect attendance through eighth grade, but maintaining that record through high school weeded out most others.

Only a handful of students throughout CMS accomplished it, said Stachura.

"I think it's one of those things where you're just so used to doing it, it's not like it hurts you," she said.

But the achievement hasn't come without sacrifices.

Stachura skipped out on Senior Skip Day.

During final exams in high school, most students choose to sleep in if they don't have an exam scheduled. Stachura went to school anyway to sit in the cafeteria with students who don't have transportation.

This spring, when she had a weekend scholarship interview in the state of Washington, she had to do some rescheduling to make sure she was in school enough hours that Friday for it to count as a full day.

Luckily, the man interviewing her understood - he'd never missed a day of teaching in 40 years.

But Stachura wasn't solely motivated by the goal; attendance just made sense. When Stachura had to miss a few classes to take her Advanced Placement exams at off-site locations, she found out making up missed work isn't easy.

"I realized how much you actually miss when you miss school," said Stachura.

So what's the secret to her perfect record?

Hard work and perseverance, especially during the high school years.

"I'm proud of it," said Stachura. "Because I've been doing it so long, if I were to give that up now that would be giving up something that defines you a little bit."

In the fall, she'll attend Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

"She understands what the dynamics of success are," said her father, Paul Stachura. "She's figured it out at a younger age, and others might be in their mid-20s before they figure it out, and some never figure it out. We're proud of her."